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Title: Coeliac disease : chronic illness and self-care in the digital age
Author: Martin, Sam C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5620
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This doctoral research contributes to three main fields: the Sociology of Health and Illness (SHI), specifically in the way it speaks to Coeliac Disease; and the field of Big Social Data and Health in general. Research in SHI, has typically focussed on the effects of diagnosis on self-identity, and illness narratives used in adapting to life with chronic disease. While there have been recent studies looking at how general food cultures, obesity and diabetes are visualised on social media, there have been no studies about the visualisation of self-care and identity in relation to Coeliac Disease specifically. Current social research in Coeliac Disease is mainly focused on the psychological impact of being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and the challenge the gluten free diet can put on individuals. There is little in the literature about how individuals self-manage Coeliac Disease or share identity across social media platforms, or how they use social media to navigate risk. Current literature in the field of Big Social Data and Health, mainly looks at how social media offers opportunities to socially share or disseminate public health information between organisations and the public, as well as how the use of wearable technology and apps are used to quantify health. It does not look at how the chronically ill share symptoms, identity and self-care across social media platforms. This thesis adds to the literature by bringing together the fields of SHI, Big Social Data and Health, and Social Science research into Coeliac Disease to understand and visualise the way Coeliac patients actively use social media platforms in the process of self-care and self-identity. It explores how social media can be used to tell a chronic illness narrative, and thus illustrate the process of diagnosis, and how individuals adapt to life as a Coeliac on the gluten free diet (GFD). In doing so, this research provides an illustrative example of how social media data can be used to both inform and complement research on Coeliac Disease specifically, and the fields of SHI and digital social science more generally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick ; Coeliac UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HM Sociology ; T Technology (General)